- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 18, 2005


State will fund new ski area

ANCHORAGE — The state will provide $24 million in loans to help develop a ski area at Hatcher Pass.

The $41.25 million project would include Olympic-class Nordic ski trails, a day lodge and about 450 acres of residential property. Developers said construction on ski trails could begin in May.


Real estate costs hurt congregations

PHOENIX — Soaring real estate prices are making it harder for churches, synagogues and mosques to find affordable property in Queen Creek, Peoria and other parts of Phoenix.

Groups that have long provided congregations with construction money are realizing that they might need to provide help for land acquisition in Arizona and other high-growth Western states.


Crane collapses at medical center

MARGATE — A construction crane collapsed Friday onto a section of the Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Fla.

The crane was lifting a concrete wall section for a nearby parking garage under construction when the machine and its long boom collapsed.

The cause and damage had not been determined. Two workers were reported injured. It was the second such accident in Broward County in eight days.


Boy, 9, charged in go-cart accident

COLUMBUS — A 9-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide in the death of his 11-year-old cousin.

Pierre Collins died when the go-cart in which he was a passenger ran a stop sign and collided with a truck. The 9-year-old suffered minor cuts and bruises. No citations are pending against the truck driver, police said.


Meth lab seizures drop with new law

DES MOINES — The number of methamphetamine labs seized in Iowa dropped 79 percent since a new law limited access to the key ingredient, pseudoephedrine.

Police in Iowa seized 52 meth labs in June through August, compared to 249 in the same period a year ago, said Marvin Van Haaften, head of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.


Trooper acquitted of assault charge

FRAMINGHAM — A state trooper was found not guilty of a charge that he assaulted his father over savings of nearly $1 million.

The Framingham District Court jury acquitted Trooper John Hanna, 47. George Hanna Sr., 89, had accused his son of shoving him to the ground after an argument about the money.


House votes to ban booze machines

LANSING — The House voted 102-1 to ban the machines known as Alcohol Without Liquid, or AWOL, which vaporize liquor 80-proof or higher and send alcohol quickly to the brain.

The machines are popular on some college campuses for getting drunk fast without drinking. A “home-use” AWOL machine can be bought online for $299. The bill now goes to the Michigan Senate.


Woman stabs sister’s husband

NEW YORK — A New York City woman stabbed her sister’s estranged husband after he threw a TV at her mother, police said.

Carl Upsher, 26, staggered from the second-floor apartment onto the street bleeding from the stab wounds, witnesses said. He was pronounced dead three hours later in Kings County Hospital, police said.

Relatives said Mr. Upsher’s estranged wife, Paterish, had called her husband to her home, even though she had a restraining order against him, the New York Daily News reported yesterday.

When the husband arrived, a fight occurred and he grabbed a TV and threw it at his mother-in-law, Yvonne Moore, but missed, police claim.


Residents set french-fry record

GRAND FORKS —Residents gobbled up a new record for the largest single serving of french fries — an estimated 4,518 pounds of french fries.

The annual event is held during “Potato Bowl USA” week, which recognizes the potato industry in the Red River Valley and includes a University of North Dakota football game.

This year’s total eclipsed the record of 4,410 pounds of fries set two years ago.

Dave Gottberg, a director with the J.R. Simplot french-fry plant in Grand Forks, estimated that about 10,000 people were served Thursday.


School explosion injures 15

CORNERSVILLE — A water heater exploded in a school cafeteria Friday, critically injuring one worker and sending at least 13 students and a faculty member to a hospital.

Students were standing in line to be served in the cafeteria when the explosion occurred, said Richie Brewer, assistant principal at Cornersville High School.

A maintenance worker was inspecting a gas water heater in the kitchen when it exploded and knocked the worker through the door, Mr. Brewer said.

“He was able to get up and picked up a fire extinguisher and put out what fire there was,” he said.

Mr. Brewer said a cafeteria superintendent was cut by a falling light fixture, and a student was hit by a falling piece of ceiling.


Official charged in skunk shooting

PROSSER — The city is charging Benton County Commissioner Max Benitz with discharging a firearm in public for shooting a skunk in the courthouse.

Mr. Benitz says he still thinks he did the right thing Aug. 11, when he went home and came back with a .22-caliber rifle and dispatched the skunk with a single shot after animal-control officers failed to respond.


Court will hear coal-mine dispute

CHARLESTON — Federal appeals judges are scheduled to hear oral arguments today in a disputed decision to bar streamlined permitting for waste disposal at mountaintop-removal coal mines in West Virginia.

The July 2004 ruling by U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin revoked 11 permits that had been issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He also ordered the agency to suspend previously authorized valley fills and surface impoundments on which construction had not yet begun.

The arguments in the appeal are slated to be heard by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond., which has overturned two previous mountaintop removal decisions in West Virginia.

The Goodwin decision came in a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition against the corps. Another activist group called Mountain Justice Summer has staged protests over the last several months in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee to oppose all forms of surface mining — and especially mountaintop removal — because they say it destroys ecosystems and watersheds.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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